Sunday, January 31, 2021

Frozen Lake Nawahunta to Stockbridge Mountain

Harriman State Park,
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Menomine Trail: Yellow blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Tiorati Brook Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:10
Estimated Distance: 3.5 miles

Pros: Frozen lake, very remote trail
Cons: Missing vista view
Hike Type: 2 car point A to point B
Level of Difficulty: Intermediate

Map of Route:

Hiking Partner:
Yehudah Koblick

This was another cold January day. There was about an inch of snow covering the ground from the small storm earlier in the week. It has been freezing all week, and I was expecting most of the Harriman Lakes to be frozen. I was disapointed that each one that I passed had the red flad indicating the frozen lake was unsafe. Some of the lakes looked entirely frozen so not sure why they weren't flagged green. While driving north on Seven Lakes Drive, I noticed one lake was posted as safe: Nawahunta. This lake is across the road from Silvermine Lake and a bit further to the south. Although this lake is small, it's the first frozen lake in Harriman in over 2 seasons! So we decided to start our hike over here.

We parked in the Silvermine parking area, and took the Menomine Trail west through the picnic area and cemetery, and then crossed Seven Lakes Drive. We went across Lake Nawahunta from its eastern side, west towards the other side. We only encountered a single ice fisherman on the lake complaining why the rest of the lakes weren't open.

After exiting the frozen lake, we bushwacked parallel to the old telephone line (which is no longer here but is still on the map) until reaching the Appalachian Trail, climbing the Stockbridge Mountain ridge. We headed south to the view, which is a bit overgrown, and then descended down the valley and back the northern end of Fingerboard Mountain through a dense evergreen Mountain Laurel forest.

Upon reaching Arden Valley Road, we crossed the road and took Arden Valley Road down to the Lake Tiorati parking area, where was had the other car parked.

Map of the Route

Picnic Area at Silvermine Lake at the Beginning of the Hike

Lewis Cemetery along the Menomine Trail

Menomine Trail Approaching Lake Nawahunta

Frozen Lake Nawahunta at the Shore

Me at Frozen Lake Nawahunta

Me on Lake Nawahunta

Lone Fisherman on the Ice at Lake Nawahunta

Another View of the Fisherman

Me on Lake Nawahunta

Area Cordoned off at the Southern End of the Lake

Looking from One End to the Other End of Lake Nawahunta

Yehudah on Lake Nawahunta

Me on the Snowy Appalachian Trail

West Mountain and Appalachian Trail in the Distance

Another View from Fingerboard Mountain

Appalachian Trail in the Snow on Fingerboard Mountain

Frozen Waterfall on the Appalachian Trail at Stockbridge

View from the Summit Prior to the Descent

Rock Along the View Area at Stockbridge

View Looing South the Fingerboard Mountain

Evergreen Rhododendron Forest on Fingerboard Mountain

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Lake Welch Shoreline Winter Hike

Harriman State Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York

Total Time: 0:55 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.0 Miles

Pros: Scenic lake
Cons: Non-cohesive trail and paved paths
Hike Type: Loop hike
Level of Difficulty: Very easy

Map of Route:

This was a short hike in Harriman at the Lake Welch area. The weather was absolutely frigid, in the lower teens. I hiked in full gear including a face mask and ski goggles. I parked in the Lake Tiorati boat launch area. The lake was mostly frozen, but had several unfrozen patches so was still unsafe to walk on. I walked to the boat launch, and then walked along the path alongside the northern side of the lake. 

I took a short detour at the old cemetery at Lake Welch, and then walked along the path to the Lake Welch Beach. I walked along the beach, where the winds were howling, and then walked towards the parking lot and path through the picnic area, heading back west. I then cut across back at the last parking lot and heading back to my car, where I was able to warm up.

Map of the Route

Frozen Lake and Jackie Jones Tower from the Boat Launch

Looking Across a Frozen Lake Welch to the Islands from the Boat Launch 

Lake Welch Facing Towards the Beach

Foxtails Along the Side of Lake Welch

Debris on a Frozen Lake Welch 

Plaque at the Old School Site of the Extinct Site of Sandyfields

Me at the Boat Launch and Jackie Jones Behind Me

Woods Road Parallel to Lake Welch

Old Sandyfields Cemetery on the North Side of Lake Welch

Tombstones in the Old Sandyfields Cemetery

Zoomed into the Tombstones

Another View of the Cemetery

View of Lake Welch and Jackie Jones from the Hill

Frozen Lake Welch Beach

Jackie Jones Tower Behind a Frozen Lake Welch

Lake Welch Facing Southwest

Lake Welch Beach Shoreline

Water and Ice at Lake Welch Beach

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Stone Mountain Winter Hike

Stone Mountain Memorial State Park,
Stone Mountain,
DeKalb Co.,

Hiking Trails:
Walk Up Trail: Yellow markings

Total Time: 1:00
Estimated Distance: 2.3 miles

Pros: Interesting geology, good climb, and excellent views
Cons: Very busy, even early on Sunday on a cold winter day
Hike Type: Up and down
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Map of Route:

I was in and out of Atlanta for a family Bar Mitzvah. The Bar Mitzvah was Sunday late morning. I was out at the mountain at about 9:30, hiked here for an hour, attended the Bar Mitzvah, and then flew back home to New York in the early afternoon.

Atlanta is not mountainous, though it does have some rolling hills. However, Stone Mountain in the eastern suburbs is a giant rock mountain that protrudes from the otherwise flat area. This is one giant rock with some very interesting geology. It is also one of the most popular attractions in Atlanta and certainly its most traversed hike. I would only recommend going here in quiet times - especially during these Corona times; otherwise it's too busy. I was here early Sunday morning and there lots of people out, but it was still very manageable. Though as I completed the hike I noticed how much busier the parking area was and how many more people were setting out to hike.

It was very cold for Atlanta standards, with temperatures in the 30's. This was standard winter weather that I was used to. I parked at the Confederate Hall Parking Lot, at the where the Walk Up Trail starts. The climb is mostly on exposed rock and was moderate except for the end where it ascends a steep hump to the summit. Near the top I walked towards the northern side of the ridge, went over the actual summit, and then looped around.

For the way down, instead of walking on the main path, I went on a spur slightly to the north that goes in a wooded area and was much less busy. Aside from being different than the main trail, it also afforded a different type of terrain and helped me avoid the crowds ascending. This unmarked spur train is about 200 feet north of the main trail and is unmarked. It goes pretty much all the way parallel to the main trail, and I took it to the bottom and back to my car.

Map of the Route

Start of the Hike

Large Rock Face at the Beginning of the Hike

Ascending Stone Mountain

First View on Stone Mountain

Zoomed into the First View with the Atlanta Skyline in the Background

Atlanta Skyline from Stone Mountain, from Downtown through Buckhead

Me at the View before the Final Ascent

Steep Ascent Near the Top of the Mountain

View Nearing the Top, Facing West

Top of the Rail at the Steep Portion of Stone Mountain

The Final Hump Before the Summit

View of the Atlanta Skyline Facing West from Stone Mountain

View from Stone Mountain Facing Northwest

View of Stone Mountain Facing North, with My Shadow in View

View from Stone Mountain Facing East

Cable Car Railway at the Top of Stone Mountain

View from Stone Mountain Facing East

Real Summit of Stone Mountain

Puddle on the Top of Stone Mountain

Rock at Stone Mountain and the City Facing West

Me Atop Stone Mountain

Wooded Trail on the Side of the Rock Face on the Descent

Rockface View Near the Bottom of the Mountain